To take our leave of Croatia, it
was necessary to bring our boat to the dockside at
Pula, where a policeman was
stationed in a small building on the shore. Tying up there was quite a trial, as
the fenders attached to the dockside were hard and inflexible and we had to fend
off their fenders, to protect the boat. The other side of the dock, big black
tyres had been used and to ensure that they were not user-friendly, huge,
protruding logs filled the apertures in the tyres.
Having completed formalities on the dockside, the captain
then had to go ashore to the Capitanerie, to complete formalities there
We left Pula,
just before and sailed, using the
parasailor, for about an hour but the true wind never even reached 10knots.
Sailing on a broad reach, we gave up the struggle as the strength of the wind
Once again the navigation equipment caused countless
problems and the captain, having completed his night watch, had to stay up to
find a solution. The equipment didn’t settle down until just before my watch.
was a heavy thud on the hull, followed almost immediately by another. I put the
gears into neutral, so that the folding props might be protected. Then, to
starboard, about a metre off, we passed a pole, sticking at least a metre out of
The captain had arrived topside to find out what had
caused the thumps on the hull and like myself, was horrified to see the pole so
close to the boat. This had been uncharted and unlit as were so many more that
we subsequently manoeuvred our way past. Thankfully, it was not now as dark as
it had been earlier and, being aware of these potentially dangerous obstacles, I
was even more alert than usual.
We approached the entrance to the
Venice lagoon as the sun rose on
this Sunday morning, with umpteen cruise ships approaching from behind, trying
to swallow us up. As the clock chimed , we were taking photographs of St. Marks square, from
our own boat, we then sailed around the various islands marveling at the
architecture and dodging the other boats, plying their trade.
We were fortunate to find a berth in a small marina where
we tied up alongside. This was no mean feat. Most of the marinas around
Venice seemed to be equipped with
piles and none appeared to have piles spaced sufficiently wide enough to take
Feeling somewhat jaded, we spent the day chilling out and
that evening joined a shore-side barbecue, at the invitation of the young,
friendly, marina management team. We met up with a group of young people who
have been working together for the last 7 years. They had just arrived from
Vienna and were creating an
exhibition of art in the huge, brick built storage shed, used during the winter
for storing boats. The exhibition opens on 1st June and then they
will be off to
Japan to start
on the next.
On Monday, we took the dingy from our island across the
lagoon, to buy some tickets to enable us to use the water buses. The many other
boats on the water seemed to be racing each other and the water was very choppy.
I held onto the dingy painter to help me from being thrown out of the boat. When
the skipper then decided to take it on the plane, there was no way I could stop
my body from being thrown all over the place. It was a miracle that I wasn’t
thrown overboard before I managed to persuade him to slow the boat down, for the
sake of safety.
We took a water bus to St Marks square and did the
tourist bit then, after lunch, we took another to the island where they make the
beautiful, coloured glass.
We were astonished at the cavalier way the boats crashed
against the floating platforms, when they stopped. There wasn’t a fender in
Venice soon after on Wednesday afternoon, having visited
a great number of the islands and traveled on gondolas, water buses and
We planned to make passage back to
Pula overnight but had made sure
that we would be well outside of
Venice during daylight, to avoid all
the navigational pitfalls.
Having left the lagoon, the coastguard passed us, also
traveling away from Venice. About
, we noticed that a ship of the
Minoan line was stationary with a helicopter circling above and the coastguard
close to the bow. After quite some time, the helicopter flew towards
Venice. Although we had been
watching the scene for quite some time, we had not seen anyone airlifted into
the helicopter. The ship turned 180degrees and made its way
On the passage towards
Croatia, we spotted dolphin
several times before it became dark, finally arriving at the customs dock just
Once we had legalized our entry into
Croatia, we were
not permitted to remain on the dockside and the very officious policeman
directed us the town quay nearby, where we planned to leave the boat and go
ashore to buy some provisions.
No sooner were we tied up, in what can only be described
as a cesspit, with raw sewage obviously being pumped into the harbour, than we
were approached by an official from the port authority who was also very
unhelpful and didn’t want us to stop there. In a cross between my very pidgeon
Italian and my rusty Spanish, I managed to persuade him to let us stay for 10
minutes so that we might buy some steaks for the barbecue that evening.
We were not sorry to leave
Pula behind, making passage to
Kanalic where having dropped an anchor, we breakfasted on pancakes and then
slept until lunchtime.
We telephoned a couple, who live in
keep a boat in
Croatia, whom we
had met at the ARC seminar, which was held in Guildford,
in March. They are also planning to sail around the world with WARC (World ARC).
Coincidentally, they were spending the weekend on their boat, not too far from
Kanalic so, on Friday, instead of traveling south, we made a small diversion to
Rabac, where we anchored overnight, having spent a couple of hours sailing en-route.
The anchorage was idyllicand just big enough for one boat.
Next morning, we continued our passage to Omisalj, on the
Krk, where we will meet with our
Below: Cruise ship passing at 5.30am, What a way to
travel the canals, Even the coffins have to be moved by boat,
Island off Pula such a contrast to the islands of Venice